Press Release 19 September 2007

With the recent announcement from the government of Israel that the Gaza Strip and its occupants will be treated as an “enemy entity” with yet more economic and humanitarian hardship imposed upon the civilian population, Scottish Friends of Palestine endorses the following message from the Israel based Gush Shalom

The starving of the Gaza inhabitants is a crime and a folly Mistreating a million and a half people will make them the most bitter of enemies.

Instead of a cruel policy of naked force, we should negotiate with all Palestinians – including Hamas. With our own hands we are uniting a million and half people against us, in bitterness and hatred says Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc).

The inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are completely dependent on Israel for their most basic livelihood. This complete dependence was created, consciously and deliberately, by all governments of Israel since 1967. The state of Israel cannot now just shrug off its responsibility for the fate of the inhabitants of Gaza. The people of the Gaza Strip have already been living for a long time in terrible squalor, on the very edge of starvation. Now we push them even much deeper into hell. The state of Israel is today roughly trampling International Law, in indiscriminate collective punishments of a whole civilian population. We, too, will eventually pay the price.

This policy of force and oppression is also emptying of content the negotiations supposedly taking place with Abu Mazen and the leadership he heads, presenting him and his followers as accomplices in the terrible suffering caused to their people. There can be no peace without talking to and negotiating with the entire Palestinian people, with all its parts including the Hamas leadership, which has explicitly expressed its willingness to discuss a cease-fire and a mutual end to attacks on both sides of the Gaza border. This is the alternative to the policy of trampling force whose main proponent is Defence Minister Barak, formally leader of the Labour Party – effectively leader of the Extreme Right in Israel.

Scottish Friends of Palestine is a firm advocate of the total boycott of all Israeli institutions, academic and cultural bodies and Israeli products – until as such times that the Israeli state ceases to boycott the rights of the Palestinian people, and international law as it pertains to the Palestinian people.

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